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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Wheat Beer Explosion
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:23 AM   #1
ryan_pants
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Default Wheat Beer Explosion

I finished my third and most painless all-grain brew yesterday. I had just transfered my last batch to secondary and decided to go ahead and re-use the yeast cake for this new batch. It took a little while but the fermentation just took off and so I swapped the air-lock with a blowoff tube. I must have shoved the tube down further than I realized (couldn't see it - using bucket for primary) and in less than an hour of unsupervised blowing off, about 1/2 of the liquid had been pushed into my blowoff bucket. This was the bottling bucket I'd used yesterday to bottle another batch and while it was rinsed out, it was not properly sanitized.

Is all that brew that made its way to the bottling bucket no good now? If I quickly transfer it to another clean fermenter can it be salvaged? Or should I just throw an airlock on it and let it go too? If I do the later, would it be safe to syphon both fermenters contents into the same secondary? This sucks, I really hate to lose half my batch...

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Old 04-03-2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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Transfer it to a clean fermenter and let it finish. You may want to let it sit for a couple extra weeks, rather than mixing the two parts. You might go as far as bottling them separately.

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Old 04-03-2007, 10:40 AM   #3
Ó Flannagáin
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Dam, can't believe half the batch blew into the blow-off bucket. That's intense. I've yet to have a fermentation that vigorous. Was it a 5 gallon batch? Did 2.5 gals go into the blow-off bucket?

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Old 04-03-2007, 12:24 PM   #4
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I can relate to the sorrow of losing a couple gallons of precious beer...

I brewed a 12 gallon batch of the Chimay Blue clone from a recipe in Beer Uncovered. This was the most intense fermentation I have ever experienced!

I split a 49 oz. can of Apricot Puree between the two 6.5 gal Better Bottles to customize the beer a bit. I guess all that extra sugar sent my yeastie beasties into a feeding frenzy. (An inch of yeast in my 1000ml starter probably helped a lot too....hehe...)

Anyways, I put both blowoff tubes into a gallon "sun tea" jug and filled about 1/3 with water. I came back about 8 hours later and the foam was already on the floor! It wasn't bubbling so much as it was whooshing. It sounded like someone flushing a toilet every 10 seconds or so. Quite a sight to behold! I even had the wife come down and marvel at my creation. Of course then I had to hear it about staining the carpet.... ooops. (Gotta remember to put a plastic tarp down next time!)

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Old 04-03-2007, 02:12 PM   #5
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For wheat beer, the 6.5 gallon carboy works nicely for primary - plenty of room for krausen, and when it does blow off (which it will) you only lose some floaties but not much beer loss. I put the hose into a bucket that's got sanitizer still in it, so the end of the hose is submurged - I get to hear the bubbling and also keep nasties from going back up the hose - If I lost wort into that there would be no salvaging it. I also tend to make closer to 5 3/4 gallons when I do a wheat beer. Just some thoughts for processes you may want to consider. Good luck salvaging what blew off.

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Old 04-03-2007, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_pants
I must have shoved the tube down further than I realized (couldn't see it - using bucket for primary) and in less than an hour of unsupervised blowing off, about 1/2 of the liquid had been pushed into my blowoff bucket. This was the bottling bucket I'd used yesterday to bottle another batch and while it was rinsed out, it was not properly sanitized.
Is it possible that the tube in the primary was under the fluid line? I wonder if the pressure was enough to just get fluid in the tube so that then a syphon was started. That would give you exactly 1/2 the batch in each bucket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_pants
Is all that brew that made its way to the bottling bucket no good now? If I quickly transfer it to another clean fermenter can it be salvaged? Or should I just throw an airlock on it and let it go too? If I do the later, would it be safe to syphon both fermenters contents into the same secondary? This sucks, I really hate to lose half my batch...
Could you just reboil/cool/pitch the 1/2 batch in the blowoff tank?

pax,
Scott (making his first, hopefully not inane, post)
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